This weekend I had the chance to attend the Tanner Gun Show. With a proclaimed 700 tables it was a pretty large affair with people buying/trading/selling everything from t-shirts and accessories to jewelry to handguns and rifles. Most dealers specialized in one thing or another. I passed tables full of nothing but magazines as well as tables with nothing but reload equipment. Knives were another popular booth.
There were not many antique firearms dealers. I talked to a couple who put the price range for my Colt 1849 in the range of $200 to $300. It had some work done and was not a matching serial numbers piece. The first dealer I spoke with had purchased a similar era piece that was in worse condition for $200. He pointed out some of the work that had been done in that era. The interface between the barrel and the cylinder had been cut down to provide a tight fit. This was to prevent powder escape when firing. Even if the Colt were more original, the book prices are greatly exaggerated.
While there, I also took a look at later model firearms. I was very surprised by the price range for the same item in the same condition. Between four dealers the price for a particular .38 automatic was from $280 to $350. This may not seem like a big range, but $350 represents a 25% premium to whatever mark-up the low end dealer had included.
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